Category Accidents

Britain’s first known car fatality

It happened on Monday 17th August 1896 when Bridget Driscoll was knocked down by Arthur Edsell who was reportedly driving at 4mph. The Morning Post’s report on Friday 21st tells us that Mr Percy Morrison held an inquest at Penge on the body of Bridget Driscoll, the 44 year old wife of a labourer of […]

1894 and disaster at a South Wales coal pit

A new colliery – the property of the Albion Steam Coal Company, Limited – was registered in Cardiff and began sinking operations in 1885 and completed them in 1887.  It was in the Taff Valley = a portion of the coalfield that was virgin until the colliery was opened. It was to the north of […]

The day in May when a tornado came to southern England

Do you remember Sunday 21st May 1950 when a tornado swept across southern England?  I certainly do.  The BBC reported that: ‘Two people have died in violent storms and a tornado which have devastated southern England. Several others were injured in lightning strikes and fierce winds which caused massive damage to property around London.’ The […]

It happened on Thursday 2nd May 1952

So – what was it that justifies being here to day? It was  the day that the world’s first passenger carrying jet airliner, a BOAC De Havilland Comet, call sign G-ALYP, with 36 fare-paying passengers aboard, set off on its’ maiden, scheduled flight from London to Johannesburg. It was, in fact, a part of BOAC’s […]

The Chernobyl Disaster of April 1986

26th April has been a key date in many events through history. For instance – William Shakespeare was baptized; Prince George, later King George VI of Britain married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and the US rocket Ranger IV landed on the moon but failed to send back pictures due to ‘a technical problem’. However, I have […]

Manchester United – Munich – and me

It was on Monday 6th February 1958 that the Munich air disaster occurred when British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Rien Airport, West Germany. On that plane was the Manchester United football team, nicknamed the “Busby Babes”, along with supporters and journalists. Twenty […]

John Derry & the speed of sound

It was on Monday 6th September 1948 that John Derry became the first British pilot to exceed the speed of sound. The de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen was designed during the late 1940s at its facility in de Havilland’s Hatfield site and was a carrier-based fleet defense fighter that served into the 1970s.  In September […]